By the end of October council must decide on one of three options:
take $20 million from VANOC and build an arena to host the Paralympic sledge hockey events in 2010; or
take $8 million from VANOC and build a practice ice sheet at Meadow Park, which would cost roughly $10 million; or
forgo building either an arena or a practice ice rink and take $2 million from VANOC to be spent wherever the municipality decides.
The $20 million/$2 million options were negotiated as part of the Venue Agreement, signed by Vancouver 2010 and the RMOW, during the bid phase.
The $8 million option is relatively new, and part of a larger deal which once involved giving Squamish the chance to build the arena. Council learned this week that VANOCs $8 million contribution is now in writing, which should give taxpayers a level of comfort that the money will be forthcoming should council choose that option.
VANOCs requirements for the facility include:
2,750 seats, which has decreased from the original requirement of 3,500 to 5,000 seats; and
an international sized ice surface, which is 15 feet wider than the NHL size;
media space during the Games; and
it must be built for test events by November 2009.